"Caritas In Veritate"

The guest speaker at the September 16, 2009, breakfast meeting was Rev. Philip Bene J.C.D. of the Holy See Mission to the United Nations. Father Philip follows human rights matters and international law at the United Nations. He earned a license and doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome and is an active member of the Canon Law Society. Originally from Saint Louis he was ordained to the priesthood for the S. L. Archdiocese in 1994.
He clarified the Pope's Encyclical Letter CARITAS IN VERITATE (Truth in Charity). This letter is the third encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI and was published on July 7, 2009. The letter addresses the global economic and social issues of our time and has received great acclaim in the international community. It clarifies the role of charity and truth in life and gives insight on the current economic conditions of the world today.

The United States Conference of Catholic bishops stated, "The encyclical offers sound reflections on the vocation of human development as well as on the moral principles on which a global economy must be based. It challenges business enterprises, governments, unions and individuals to re-examine their economic responsibilities in the light of charity, governed by truth. The Pope points out the responsibilities and limitations of government and the private market, challenges traditional ideologies of right and left, and calls all men and women to think and act anew."

The charity aspect of the document calls upon individuals to include charity in their everyday life and calls upon people to answer the challenge proposed to them by the document. Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that charity, along with truth, is at the heart of Catholic social teaching. However. Pope Benedict cautions readers not to perform charity for selfish reasons but to think of others.

The encyclical also deals with the role of the human family in society.